Hey Tumblr, ‘sup. So I’m in charge of chairing tonight’s LMU GSA meeting, and the subject is erasure/discrimination within the queer community and within queer-friendly (supposedly) media. I have a little by way of media (videos and such) and I have some discussion questions for the group, but…
There’s good post here about an article that mentions asexual erasure, and similarities to/differences from bisexual erasure here. An excerpt:
Although it was published in Jan. 2000—before the birth of the asexual community—the author was clearly aware of asexuality and the issue of asexual erasure….Not only does he recognize the issue, but—even without there being an asexual community—he has considerable insight into the matter:
“My regret is made keen by the convergences between bisexual and asexual erasure, most notably the refusal by both self-identified straights and self-identified gays to acknowledge either category. Thus asexuals, like bisexuals, are prone to being accused of duplicity or false consciousness, or, more specifically, of being closeted gays.
The decision to defer a discussion of asexuals for another day, however, is supported by the undertheorized divergences between bisexuality and asexuality, which suggest that the two topics deserve separate analysis. While both doubled and absent desire appear to threaten straights and gays, they do so in quite different ways. To take one crude cut at that difference, consider the disparate ways in which the time-honored conflation of sexuality and sin ramifies across bisexuality and asexuality. If this conflation leads some to view bisexuals as particularly culpable because of their “promiscuous” desire for both sexes…it leads some of the same people to view asexuals as particularly pure.”
Also, I’m not sure if it’s exactly what you’re looking for, but there’s an excellent paper about bisexual erasure from the San Francisco Human Rights comission that has a detailed analysis of Bisexual erasure, and many of the points are applicable (with slight adaptation) to many other forms of erasure. For Example, take the following list of examples of bisexual erasure:
Assuming that everyone you meet is either heterosexual or homosexual.
Supporting and understanding a bisexual identity for young people because you identified
“that way” before you came to your “real” lesbian/gay/heterosexual identity.
Automatically assuming romantic couplings of two women are lesbian, or two men are gay,
or a man and a woman are heterosexual.
Expecting a bisexual to identify as gay or lesbian when coupled with the “same” sex/gender.
Expecting a bisexual to identify as heterosexual when coupled with the “opposite”
Believing that bisexual men spread HIV/AIDS to heterosexuals.
Believing that bisexual women spread HIV/AIDS to lesbians.
Thinking bisexual people haven’t made up their minds.
Refusing to accept someone’s self-identification as bisexual if the person hasn’t had sex with
both men and women.
Expecting bisexual people to get services, information, and education from heterosexual
service agencies for their “heterosexual side” and then go to gay and/or lesbian service
agencies for their “homosexual side.”
Feeling bisexuals just want to have their cake and eat it too.
Assuming a bisexual person would want to fulfill your sexual fantasies or curiosities.
Thinking bisexuals only have committed relationships with “opposite” sex/gender partners.
Being gay or lesbian and asking your bisexual friends about their lovers or whom they are
dating only when that person is the “same” sex/gender.
Assuming that bisexuals, if given the choice, would prefer to be in an “opposite” gender/sex
coupling to reap the social benefits of a “heterosexual” pairing.
Assuming bisexuals would be willing to “pass” as anything other than bisexual.
Believing bisexuals are confused about their sexuality.
Feeling that you can’t trust a bisexual because they aren’t really gay or lesbian, or aren’t really
Refusing to use the word bisexual in the media when reporting on people attracted to more
than one gender, instead substituting made-up terms such as “gay-ish.”
Using the terms phase or stage or confused or fence-sitter or bisexual or AC/DC or switch-hitter as
slurs or in an accusatory way.
Assuming bisexuals are incapable of monogamy.
Feeling that bisexual people are too outspoken and pushy about their visibility and rights.
Looking at a bisexual person and automatically thinking of her/his sexuality rather than
seeing her/him as a whole, complete person. Not confronting a biphobic remark or joke for fear of being identified as bisexual.
Assuming bisexual means “available.”
Thinking that bisexual people will have their rights when lesbian and gay people win theirs.
Expecting bisexual activists and organizers to minimize bisexual issues (such as HIV/AIDS,
violence, basic civil rights, military service, same-sex marriage, child custody, adoption, etc.)
and to prioritize the visibility of “lesbian and/or gay” issues.
Avoiding mentioning to friends that you are involved with a bisexual or working with a
bisexual group because you are afraid they will think you are a bisexual.
Many, though not all, of these example may be similar to the kinds of erasure trans or ace people face. Of course, ace and trans people also face forms of erasure unique to their own groups as well.
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